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OFT Fines and Bans Manager of Real Estate Agent for AML Breaches - 602/2023

September 07, 2023

A real estate agent has been sanctioned by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for breaching its Anti-Money Laundering, Combatting the Financing of Terrorism, and Counter Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/CPF) obligations.

The OFT has issued a £12,500 fine against K.S. Investment (Gibraltar) Limited, trading as Kristina Szekely International Reality, (the “Business”). In addition, the OFT exercised its powers to ban the Business’s director, Kristina Szekely Fischl, from exercising any managerial functions in the Business for 12 months.

The sanctions relate to several breaches and deficiencies identified with the Business’s policies, controls and procedures to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing. These were identified during an onsite inspection at the Business’s premises on 15th May and 2nd June 2023.

The inspection formed part of the OFT’s ongoing onsite inspection programme to ensure that real estate agents (REAs) and high value goods dealers (HVGDs) are effectively meeting their AML/CFT/CPF obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2015 and the Sanctions Act 2019.

In the past year the OFT has carried out 25 on-site visits to regulated entities and issued 11 fines totalling £23,100 for identified breaches of AML/CFT/CPF obligations.

The OFT would like to remind all REAs and HVGDs to familiarise themselves with the OFT’s Guidance Notes and with their AML/CFT/CPF legal obligations generally to avoid sanctions for non-compliance. Significant guidance is available on the OFT’s website.

The OFT remains at the disposal of REAs and HVGDs to assist with any questions or concerns they may have regarding their legal obligations: